Experts fear diabetes burden to double by 2040


KARACHI: President, International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Prof Abdus Samad Shera feared that number of patients with diabetes would be doubled in 2040 in Pakistan as currently, the country is facing an epidemics of diabetes and obesity while around 14 million people would be pre-diabetics but without knowing their condition.

“We are facing two epidemics at the moment, epidemic of diabetes and obesity. Currently we have around seven million diabetes patients while equal number of patients is pre-diabetics. We fear that number of people with diabetes and those on the borderline would be doubled in next 24 years”, he told the during inaugural ceremony of three-day International Diabetes and Endocrine Congress (IDEC 2016) being held in Karachi on Friday evening.

Prof Shera, who is the Chairman of the Congress and the senior most diabetologist of the world, claimed that lifestyle diabetes or type II diabetes was a initially a symptom-less disease which silently progresses and a person only knows about it when it could not be reversed.

“Kindly make it clear that frequent urination, thirst, dryness of the throat and other symptoms said to be associated with diabetes type are the symptoms of type I, which is a genetic and auto-immune disease. The diabetes we are facing these days is initially a symptom-less disease which does not show any symptom at least for six years”, he informed.

He advised people to eat less and walk more to avoid getting the lifestyle disease, saying people should know that their eating and living habits were resulting in causing them a disease, which could not be reversed and could cause them immense problems later in the life.

To a query, he said gene therapy for the treatment of diabetes was a very costly and distant treatment for diabetes and it was not an immediate solution to problems facing Pakistanis, adding that people of Pakistan should modify their lifestyle to live a healthy life.

Vice President of IDF Akhtar Hussain from Bangladesh deplored that over 65 percent of world’s diabetics were living in the developing countries and most of them were in the South Asian region, adding that the epidemic of diabetes was on the rise in the South Asia.

He said western world have managed to control this epidemic but we have not the resources and expertise like them.

Vice Chancellor of the Baqai Medical University Dr Zahida Baqai formally inaugurated the IDEC 2016 and welcomed the foreign delegates and experts, saying their presence and deliberations would help our experts in learning about treatment and management of diabetes in Pakistan.

Over 50 international experts including the Vice President of the International Diabetes Akhtar Hussain, who is from Bangladeshi, President of IDF Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, experts from United States, United Kingdom, Germay, Belgium, Norway, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and several other countries of Middle East, North Africa other continents are participating in the international congress.

Over 2000 doctors, consultant diabetologists, dieticians, nutritionists and surgeon from entire Pakistan have arrived in Karachi to attend the congress.